A few days ago, Bungie announced the date for their next big Destiny 2 showcase: August 23rd, the same date as the launch of Season 18.
These showcases usually reveal a few things, including the general story and vibes of the next big expansion, perhaps a glimpse at any new gameplay elements or locations and big sweeping changes being made to the game. The August 23rd showcase will show off the next big expansion, Lightfall, as well as ‘some surprises’ according to Bungie.
This showcase is also likely to be very special, as it is the first time we have had one held so early into the annual year for Destiny 2, with it taking place 2 seasons from the next expansion rather than 1, and we have yet to have a State of the Game article as we have had in the past.
There are a lot of questions and a lot of uncertainties going into this, especially considering that 2021 was one of the best years Destiny 2 has ever had.
Here are four things that I am optimistically hoping we see during the showcase… and one I hope we never get to hear about.
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New Darkness Subclasses
Ever since Beyond Light, Destiny fans have been clamouring for a new Darkness-based subclass. Stasis was what hooked us by being the first new element in the franchise’s 7-year history, and we wanted more.
Since then, Stasis and the Light Elements have all adapted and evolved, with new aspects and fragments and featuring the complete reworking of the original subclass trees. By Season 18, all 3 current elements (Void, Solar and Arc) will have moved to the new system paved by Stasis, which allows for more build craft and freedom than ever before. With all that out of the way, players are sure to want something new to play with (and to complain about being OP) so enter a new Darkness-based subclass.
Bungie has previously made comments regarding a new Darkness element, specifically around the lack of inclusion of a new element in The Witch Queen (where Bungie decided to focus on revamping the older elements rather than haphazardly chuck in a new one) so it is very likely that 3 new subclasses are coming to Titan, Hunter and Warlock and I hope that the August 23rd Destiny 2 showcase gives us our first proper glimpse at them.
Ideas on what the subclass element may end up being are up in the air. Stasis is the polar opposite to Solar – one being cosmic fire and the other cosmic ice – so logic dictates that the opposing forces of Arc and Void will be next… but figuring out what those are is a lot harder than it may seem.
Some believe that the next element will be some kind of Hive-based magic, something to do with Corruption or Poison to counteract the energised nature of Arc. This seems to be the prevailing theory many have right now, with other suggestions being that of a SIVA-based element (small nanite drones hell-bent on replication from the Rise of Iron Destiny 1 expansion) or an element like Mass to parallel the emptiness of Void.
Reddit user HueJackma posted a great concept of what a Mass based Darkness class could look like and YouTuber Kujay made an exhaustive breakdown of a potential Corruption subclass in a video he made last year.
Whatever direction the Darkness wants to take us, I’m here for it and I hope we get to see it during the showcase.
An Unexpected Lightfall Location At The Showcase
We know next to nothing about Lightfall other than the name and that it will herald the coming of the final antagonist in the Light and Dark saga of Destiny, known to us as The Witness.
As such the possibilities of where our Guardians could go during Lightfall are so open-ended.
We could travel to a part of Earth we have never seen before, trying to find old Golden Age tech to help push back The Witness and their forces. Or we could venture into a fully fleshed-out location to do with the Nine or the realm they inhabit, unravelling the threads of Light and Dark to find the answer. The Black Garden, Saturn, even a completely unknown world not mentioned in the lore would be so interesting to see, especially if they were given the patrol treatment offered to the reclaimed Leviathan in Season of the Haunted.
With The Witch Queen, we had some ideas. The Hive are all about Throne Worlds and while Savathun’s was twisted by Light, it was still something that we could predict based on the lore. In addition to that, many had already speculated that the next area would be the swampy marshes of Old Chicago, so seeing those same swamps appear in the Throne World wasn’t too overly surprising.
The Throne World was a beautiful and entrancing location filled with hidden nooks and crannies, but the appeal of Lightfall’s location is its sheer mystery. With it relating to The Witness, to the Light and the Dark, there are just so many avenues that Bungie could follow with the play space for Lightfall.
I want to be surprised by the location in Lightfall, so let’s hope the showcase surprises.
Only A Season 18 Tease At The Showcase
This year’s showcase is in an interesting position by being held 2 seasons away from the new expansion, as opposed to only 1. This is likely a result of the delay undertaken by Bungie while working on The Witch Queen (a delay which massively helped and aided the expansion in being one of Destiny 2’s best ever) but it does leave the showcase, and Destiny, in an interesting position.
One knock-on effect of showing off the next expansion too early is that players will lose motivation and drive to engage with the weekly seasonal story, something felt by more than a handful of players during Season of the Lost: we knew that Savathun was going to escape and we knew that she was going to steal the Light, so the seasonal story felt more like a waiting game than anything else. That isn’t a bad thing, mind you, but it is something to consider.
Bungie has confirmed that there will not be any ground-breaking information in the TWABs leading up to the showcase, as they want to reveal everything there instead. This means we will likely be going into another season dark and that the reveal of Season 18 will come with the showcase.
My main hope here is that it is only a Season 18 reveal.
Lightfall will launch with Season 20, meaning that we will still have Season 19 sandwiched in between the showcase and the expansion’s release. As such, I don’t want to know everything that is going to happen before then and I want to have some surprises while playing through the seasonal story in both Season 18 and Season 19: a reveal of the story or events of the season before Lightfall may jeopardise this and accidentally spoil what may happen in Season 18.
It’s a tricky spot for Bungie to be in as they want to hype up their new product while also keeping some cards close to their chest. I have faith that they will pull it off, however, and I’m anxiously anticipating the seasonal reveals during the Destiny 2 showcase.
The Return of the Red War
This is the most out-there thing on this list and definitely the least likely to happen.
Since Beyond Light, Bungie has been moving large segments of Destiny 2 into what they call The Destiny Content Vault (or DCV) where they will be removed from the live game and stored there for an undisclosed amount of time. Their reasoning for this was understandable (faster load times, they can update the game much easier and quicker, they can focus on newer content rather than content and areas people never play) but seeing so much of the game be cut up and erased has been a massive disappointment.
As time has passed, more has been removed with the most painful losses being that of the Red War campaign and the Forsaken campaign. The Red War was a fun and enjoyable romp through the world of Destiny 2, one which taught new players the ropes and let them experience the world at a better pace. Now? They are just chucked into the Tower with just a pat on the back from Shaw Han to guide them.
There is some hope, however.
The DCV was never meant to be an erasure or deletion of content, but a storing of it. We have seen this as different parts slowly (very slowly) make their way back into the live game: last season, 2 maps that had previously been Vaulted, Eternity and Vostok, came back. Now, bringing back an entire campaign is very different to bringing back one or two maps, especially when large portions of that campaign existed on planets that have also been Vaulted, but I think it is about time that we see something substantial come out of the Vault rather than it just being stuff going in.
During the trailer released to hype up the showcase, we do see a scene from the Red War where the Traveller had its Light locked by Cabal technology. While this is likely just Bungie reminding us of what happened in the Red War (it was 5 years ago, after all) it could also be a hint to some facet of that time returning to the live game. What is a bigger surprise than ‘hey, all that content you thought was gone? It’s back!’
This is certainly most likely not going to happen, but it is my dream pick and I really, really hope we see something like this at the Destiny 2 showcase.
Speaking of the DCV however…
The Moon Being Put In The DCV
Destiny 2 has been putting stuff in the DCV every major expansion, so unfortunately it seems like Shadowkeep is next up on the chopping block.
While not massively beloved, the Moon and Shadowkeep mark an important moment in Destiny 2’s history and have become integral parts of it: even now, the Moon continues to receive content such as the fact that the Leviathan can now only be accessed via the Moon. To see it go would be a massive shame, especially considering how big a fuss Bungie made about its overhaul when it returned.
Part of me hopes that they will announce that they are done with content vaulting altogether and that players no longer have to fear the removal of content that they love, but that is being overly optimistic.
If the Moon goes, so does Shadowkeep, and while it isn’t a spectacular campaign it has some of the best moments and hints to the future. Walking around the corner only to be met with the sight of a Pyramid ship is unforgettable, as was our first foray into the ship itself. Shadowkeep was the beginning of the end for the Light and Dark saga so to see it gone would be a shame to everyone, especially newer players who would now have even less of a clue what is going on.
If they have to Vault anything, I hope that it is a zone that genuinely has not been utilised in a long time such as the EDZ, which has been very underutilised as of late when compared to the Moon. I hope nothing gets Vaulted, but the reality is much bleaker than that.
All will be revealed come August 23rd at the Destiny 2 showcase.